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Both detailed AND careless.
on August 21, 2012
I, like other reviewers, have been fascinated about early Hollywood for many years; not just an interest in its movies, but in the people and studios. There were many aspects of the author's coverage of Paul Bern's story that I found interesting or informative, but he is definitely a man on a mission. This mission is to establish Bern as both a vital, erudite part of MGM's writing and production team and as a definite ladies' man/social mover/saint. The author seems to list every mention of Bern in social columns along with others who attended various functions. This can be interesting information, but is given without context, more as just a listing of his social calendar. The same is done regarding various movies/scenarios with which Bern was involved - at times, the author becomes very bogged down in synopses of these movies without any context or indication of the relevance to his premise. Tangential information for the sake of information can be covered in a footnote (although in this case the footnotes might be longer than the body of the book.), allowing readers who want these synopses to read them, but not halting the flow of the main focus of the book.
It is a minor flaw, but very irritating to me, that an author so focused on minutiae regarding Bern was so sloppy in referring to a party attended by "William" (instead of Winston) Churchill, the British Prime Minister (not yet, "future" prime minister, yes). There were also some grammar and misused word issues, but not as major a flaw as many I've read. I don't think copy editors really exist anymore.
The kindle edition of the book was fine with the exception of the photographs. The author included some nice photos, a few of which I don't remember seeing before, but in the kindle they are very small, and the captions are miniscule. I did the enlarging text feature, but they were still difficult to read.
Overall, I am glad that I have read the book, and it was interesting. The writing gets bogged down at times with too many details in some aspects, but not enough information in others. It left me with a desire to read other information on Bern, but with a feeling of knowing much more about him than I had before.